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Paris Opera Ballet - John Cranko's Oneguine

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I was very lucky to be able to go and see the last evening's performance on Wednesday 20th May 2009. The cast were, Eugene Oneguine (Nicholas Le Riche) Tatiana (Aurelie Dupont) Lenski (Mathias Heymann ) Olga her Sister (Mathilder Froustey) Prince Gremin (Karl Pquette) Madame Larina Vanessa Legassy

The Wet Nurse (Ghysiaiine Reichert). The main cast were supported by a small Corp de ballet, of 24 dancers, 12 femail and 12 male.The original costumes by Jurgan Rose, were brought up to date by the Paris Opera workshops, and although basically the same designs, the costumes for this production looked superior to the

former ones, as seen on DVD or video.

The cast were well matched, Mathias Heymann and Mathilder Froustey produced some very good work in their Pas de deux, as the younger more boisterous couple. Whilst Nicholas Le Riche and Aurelie Dupont, were exquisit in their own ways. Aurelie stepped completely into the role of Tatiana and was very convincing. From the start. The Pas de deux in the dream sequence was really beautiful, and danced with grace and emotion.

It features some amazing lifts, which both dancers completed without any obvious effort, which made it very

special. It can be said they were both on form.

In Tatiana's Pas de deux with her husband the Prince, Karl Paquette and Aurelie Dupont formed another very impressive partnership. The mood this time being gentle and calm, and showed their devotion.

All too soon the last Act approached, when Oneguine, returns to Tatiana's room, realising his mistake of rejecting her earlier, and hoping to rekindle her affection. The following Pas de deux is full of struggle as she tries to break free from his advances. Gradually her feelings increase as he holds her closer, for a moment in time she allows herself to be drawn into his spell. Until she remembers her status, and finally dismisses him.

Briefly she runs after him, but he has left. Leaving her standing on her own, at the front of the stage, full of anguish and despare, The evotive Tchaikovsky music really tugs at your heart strings. This is a really wonderful Ballet, and I hope that POB will release it on DVD. Ideally with Aurelie Dupont in the role of Tatiana as with her musicality, technique and acting skills she is remarkably good in the role.

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